Why Dogs Try To Escape & How You Can Stop The Habit

Dogs may try to escape from their homes and bolt for many reasons. Maybe your pooch regularly runs past you when you open your front door, or maybe they try to dig under or climb over the backyard fence.

At best, the problem is a nuisance. At worst, it can be fatal. Dogs who escape can run into traffic, encounter dangerous wildlife, face dognappers, or come across any number of hazardous, deadly situations.

Fortunately, an escaping habit is treatable, mostly by making your dog’s world as interesting and fulfilling as possible. But no matter how much of a homebody they seem, it’s wise to do everything you can to prevent an escape. The risk is too high that your dog could wind up hurt, fatally injured, or lost forever.

Here’s what you should know about your dog’s escaping habit and how to treat it.

Why Does Your Dog Keep Trying To Escape?

Boredom, isolation, and sexual roaming are most often the motives in dogs’ habitual attempts to escape or run away.

Not surprisingly, spayed or neutered dogs who receive plenty of exercise and lots of attention from their humans are the least likely to become four-legged escape artists. A happy dog who feels like part of the family will usually want to stick around.

A couple of caveats to keep in mind, however: Some breeds — such as Border Collies, who are bred to herd sheep — truly enjoy “working” and will go looking for tasks in the absence of being given any.

Other breeds, like Siberian Huskies, are notorious “Houdini” dogs who will try to escape for any reason at all. In fact, some might see your escape prevention efforts as challenges to thwart. They may try it just because it’s more fun than whatever else they were doing.

And puppies and adolescent dogs are especially prone to wanderlust if they don’t have sufficient outlets to release their energy. Of course, almost any canine will follow their nose if the scent is powerful enough — important to remember when your neighbors are barbecuing.

Dog breeds with high wanderlust potential and prey drives may be more naturally inclined to chase wildlife, wherever they may find it.

Other dogs bolt out of fear or anxiety. This is especially common during thunderstorms, fireworks celebrations like the 4th of July, and other times when loud noises spook them. If that’s the case, you may need to bring your dog to the vet for noise anxiety treatment recommendations.

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